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Deirks Bentley – Up On The Ridge

kayso, I am not a fan of mainstream Country Music no Tim McGraw, Faith Hill or Carrie Underwood in my collection. The closest I come are Waylon and Willie, early Hank William, Jr and Merle Haggard. Lately, Jack Ingram and Pat Green have crossed over from Texas Country to more mainstream. I do have Patty Loveless’ first bluegrass album Mountain Soul. So when I saw that Deirks Bentley had a new bluegrass album, I went to Rhapsody and put it on the mp3 player and have been listening to it this week. While Deirks voice may be a little too smooth for my taste I have enjoyed the album. Here’s what he says about the CD:

This album won’t come as a surprise to my hard core fans,” says Bentley. “They’ve asked me: ‘when are you going to make a bluegrass record?’ And I was just waiting for the right time.” So with a grueling tour behind him, Bentley felt liberated to pursue the project. And for his career home, Capitol Nashville, Up On The Ridge represents a rare and exciting opportunity to capture an artist working entirely from the heart.

A lot of great musician helped out on the album including the Del McCoury Band. The Traveling McCourys (the band minus Del will be touring with Bentley in support of the album) Also some of the best tracks feature  Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers. Other vocal and instrumental contributors include:  Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Tim O’Brien,  Sam Bush and Kris Kristofferson.

My favorite tracks on the CD include the title track, “Up on the Ridge”, Rovin’ Gambler”, and “Fiddlin’ Around” both of these tracks feature the Punch Brothers. “Draw Me A Map” is a nice song and “You’re Dead to Me” catches my attention each time I hear it. I don’t know how I feel about a bluegrass cover of U2’s Pride in the Name of Love” but I guess it works. Finally, the cover of “From Bottle to the Bottom” has some great picking on it but to me it just doesn’t fit Deirks voice.

Overall, I like the album. I love the picking and most of the up tempo songs but the other songs I can take or leave. If the album draws attention to bluegrass from mainstream Country Music then I think it will be great! So give it a listen you may love it and then again maybe not!

Here’s one of my favorites “Fiddlin’ Around”